Guatemala! It has been a blessing as we share fond memories, experiences and lots of pictures of our adventure at the “Tracks” in Guatemala City. Facebook has been alive with our pictures and thoughts on Guatemala filling our expressions of gratitude in our mission. It is always our hope that participants not only have a wonderful time, the pleasure of serving and the making of friends, plus the huge blessings for the people there and ourselves, but that they experience a spiritual journey throughout the week. We began spiritual preparation for the mission four months prior to the actual trip with meetings that not only prepare us physically, but also clarify our purpose and reason for glorifying God as we live daily in His Kingdom. Success is not only measured in our completion of the mission; it is measured in how this journey as changed our lives and whether or not it has created a new spirit of Christian growth and maturity. Our “real” mission is how we believe, think and live in the Kingdom of God we are surrounded with on a daily basis. Are we making a difference? Are we sharing Christ? Are we serving others? Are we bringing glory to God and His Kingdom?

There will be a series of articles I will share through the next few weeks that will express our spiritual journey as we prepared for our mission, and the daily devotions we discussed every evening of the mission. Hopefully, this will give you some insight and thoughts about the Guatemala experience that we have grown to love and value. Continue reading

God is present and active in every situation of our lives. Sometimes we don’t always recognize God’s presence and activity within us and around us. But occasionally we catch a glimpse of what God is doing, and that can propel us forward in our journey of following Jesus. I had one such experience toward the end of our mission trip to Guatemala earlier this month. Continue reading

Jesús es el mejor. Jesus is the best.

On our mission trip to Guatemala, I had the special privilege of speaking during the Sunday morning worship service at “The Tracks.” Pastor Walter, the pastor of that congregation, graciously gave up his sermon time so that Pastor Jerry and I could both share thoughts from scripture that might be inspiring or challenging for the congregation. I’ll admit the truth: normally I prepare a new sermon for each speaking engagement I receive, but this time, for various reasons, I reused a sermon I had preached at Mt. Haley a few weeks earlier. Continue reading

I learned something very important on this year’s mission trip to Guatemala: coming home on a red-eye flight while changing time zones during the “spring ahead” change to Daylight Saving Time is not very much fun at all. This past Sunday, we took off from Guatemala City at midnight Central Standard Time, and four hours later we landed in Washington, D.C., at 6am Eastern Daylight Time. That was, in a word, rough.

Of course I learned more important things on this trip, as well. In the next few posts, I would like to share some of my reflections from this week-long mission trip to Central America. My hope is that this will give you a good sense of what took place during this trip, as well as how this trip’s lessons can connect to our everyday lives back at home. Continue reading

PRAISE GOD!! Winter has arrived…..AGAIN! So much for the Groundhog! As I work here on my computer I am having visions of deep snow in the driveway that will take up hours of my time. Oh well, March has come in like a lion and hopefully this means it will go out like a lamb…and how appropriate with Easter on the last weekend of March. The good news is that the storm is in the middle of the week and we LEAVE for Guatemala very early on Saturday morning.

Our Guatemala mission begins in the middle of the night on Friday evening when we will journey to Battle Creek with our team members and lots of luggage bearing gifts and materials. We’ll park our cars at the North Avenue Church of God, which has very graciously agreed to drop us off in Chicago’s O’Hare airport with their 25 passenger bus and pick us back up on the following Sunday morning. David Beam, our missionary, is anticipating our arrival late Saturday night into Guatemala City. Then we’re off in a whirlwind as we worship with the church of the TRACKS Sunday morning and then begin our week of construction and interacting with the people of the Tracks. Everyone is going to be BLESSED! God has answered MANY prayers; we have paid all of our expenses so far, and have only luggage costs and transportation yet to deal with. However, we have money in the bank. Praise God for blessing us!! PLEASE keep us in your prayers this week, March 5 through 13, and we will see you in church the following Sunday. Continue reading

Today is “Super Tuesday,” a day in which some presidential candidates will vault ahead in their pursuit of their party’s nomination, and others will experience great disappointment. As a nation, we are waiting with bated breath to see what happens next.

Today is also the day of another snowstorm here in central Michigan. We are projected to see 6-10 inches of snowfall by this evening. Looking outside right now, I see a snow-covered road and beautifully dusted pine trees. It’s beginning to look a lot like winter. Time will tell how much today’s snowstorm will affect people’s lives, in terms of cancelled events, power outages, and auto accidents.

Today is March 1, as well – the first day of a new month. Who knows what this month will hold? The presidential race will surely change; hopefully our weather will, also. As one Facebook friend wrote today, “March truly comes in like a LION.” An old adage suggests that if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. If the weather looks horrible on March 1 (like it does today), then in a few weeks it will look much better. One can hope, anyway.

But I see another layer of meaning in that saying. On this “Super Tuesday,” we are focusing our collective attention on a few individuals whose names appear on ballots in thirteen states. Many lions are competing for supremacy in the power struggle of our political system.

If March begins like a lion, how will it end? Continue reading